Friday, April 25, 2014

Interview and Book Review: Mommy & Me Crocheted Hats

Title: Mommy & Me Crocheted Hats: 30 Fun & Stylish Designs for Kids of All Ages
Author: Kristy Simpson
Year Published: 2014

Dee's Rating: 10 Hooks out of 10

I had just vowed to crochet a chemo cap for donatation for each day I will be taking my father in for cancer treatment when the publisher of the new book, "Mommy & Me Crocheted Hats" asked me to write a review. I said yes!

Within days the book arrived and upon my initial flip-through I instantly thought the title should have been "Mommy & Me Crocheted Hats, and Some For Daddy too!" I say this because the book also includes patterns for the Dads in our lives. While this book is not intended to be "chemo" in theme, it has plenty of patterns to inspire everyone.  :)

Chemo cap inspired by "Groovy Waves Beanie" pattern
featured in the "Mommy & Me Crocheted Hats" book.
Yarn by Lotus, Hook by Graydog.
Wanting to give a pattern a test-drive, I grabbed some Lotus yarn generously given to me by Vashti, and set to work on the Groovy Waves Beanie. I found the instructions to be easy to follow (and alter, since I was using a thinner yarn and smaller hook), and liked that the instructions include sizes for Small, Medium, and Large.  I already have a second hat from the book on my hook.

I give this book a rating of 10 hooks out of 10 for the diversity of styles, ease of pattern following, and for clear how-to images of stitch instructions.

Prior to the start of my father's cancer treatments I  got a chance to interview Kristi, the author of this book:

Q. When did you start crocheting, and what was the first project you ever completed? Did you learn how to crochet from someone, or are you self-taught?
A. I began crocheting around 6 years ago. My daughter had received a 'Learn to Crochet' gift for Christmas and she sweet talked me into teaching her. As I was learning the basics to teach her....I was 'hooked'! So, yes, I am a self taught crocheter.

Some of Kristi's favorite designs
featured in her newest book.
Images used with permission.
Q. The "Mommy & Me" concept for crocheted hats is great, especially since you include patterns for Daddy too. Where did you get the inspiration for your hats?
A. "Mommy & Me" was such a blast to design. I have a sweet spot for hats, as they are my most favorite things to design. I have had sketches for YEARS, a binder of ideas that I had compiled from magazines and every day life experiences, and my publisher and I worked together to come up with a list that we thought would be great for all to adults! For instance, I had been out to my Great Aunt's house one afternoon and she had NEW baby sheep. now, if you haven't ever seen baby sheep--you have to look up a photo. They are so cute (and even a little awkward) but their ears just get me every time! So, that was my instant inspiration for the Lamb Bonnet!

Q. I'm known for loving various crochet hooks of various manufactures. Do you find you have a favorite brand? And, how would you define your crochet style: knife holder, pencil holder, or perhaps another style?
A. When it comes to holding a crochet hook, I am a knife holder. I have seen the other styles being used, and not that one way is right or wrong-- I just can cruise right along with the knife holder style. My favorite type of hook is a generic brand from Hobby Lobby that has the bamboo on the end. I love the extra grip it gives me and I honestly do not drop my hook as much!

Q. Of the collection of hats featured in your book, is there a pattern or two that stick out in your mind as a 'favorite'?
A. If I had to pick a few favorites, I would choose the Giggles'n'Curls Hat, Downtown Slouchy, Horse hat, Pigtail Hat and the Daddy's Bearded Dude Beanie (but that's since I have to choose!---I personally love them all!)

Q. What big projects do you see in your future? ... another pattern book perhaps?
A. I am actually working on Book #3 right now! The theme is still a surprise, but I think you're going to LOVE it!
Thank you Kristi!

Kristi is the founder of Inspired Crochet magazine, and is the author of "Sweet & Simple Baby Crochet: 35 Adorable Designs for Newborns to 12 Months," published in 2013.  Additional pictures from her new "Mommy & Me" book can be found here.

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